The process of urban regeneration are common features in every cities around the world: changing the industrial city into a large center, conversing industrial land and brownfield to another function or the mixture area, improving facilities, etc. That in order to improve the quality of life of urban residents and adapt to changes in many aspects of the world.
Through lectures by Stuart Cameron of regeneration in which it has raised a question about the power of culture and the arts can do to change the image of the municipality and it can orient the reconstruction.
Newcastle, the city where I am studying, is a good example of culture-led arts-led regeneration. The city had fallen into economic crisis and high unemployment in 70s when the industry of shipbuilding and mining were bankrupted and closed on a large scale. It was undergone dramatically change with buildings which are the consequence of the collaboration between art and architecture.
The Sage Gateshead is outstanding in cluster along Tyne river with the highest position in the area, modern materials and shapes as the waves overlooking the river. The Sage Gateshead is designed based on the participation by architect, acoustician, local authorities and local communities with the aim is creating a new place for wide range of music performances. Nowadays, The Sage became a place where music performances by local and international artists, a place to train professional and amateur artists at a same time. According to some reports and studies demonstrate the building have significant impact on economic, education as well as culture. It is also one of the symbols of England to the world according to Gateshead Council (2006) : “The spotlight has never been more sharply focused on North East England. The cultural regeneration that is transforming our entire region is making the world more aware of our successes, our ambitions and our vibrancy.”
The Millenium Bridge is another symbol of Newcastle, which imply as a giant eye when viewed from above. Shape is simple with two curves, which we can see in everywhere, even right in Tyne river. However, the background and the scene which are shaped by bridge, are impressive and artistic.Together with The Sage, it has attracted millions of tourists at home and abroad to visit.
Facing strong variations due to the arts and culture bring, buildings as The Baltic – a flour mill – have become a meeting place between contemporary art and culture. The regeneration have operated gradually in both sides of river : The shipyards, factories, warehouses converted into hotels, restaurants, apartments, bars, gallery that led to make Quayside becomes more lively and magnificent. Moreover, contemporary art sculptures or statues appear more in streets toward to the centre. Culture and art are parallel changing the identity of Newcastle.